Elegant Quail Callipepla douglasii

  • Order: Galliformes
  • Family: Odontophoridae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The Elegant Quail is a fetching resident of northwest Mexico, with a range that stretches from Sonora and Chihuahua south to Nayarit and Jalisco. Elegant Quail are found in tropical deciduous forest and thorn scrub, away from the immediate coastal plain. It is one of many quail species endemic to Mexico, and is sympatric with the closely related Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelli) in parts of its range, although Gambel's primarily inhabits desert and mesquite grasslands. Elegant Quail feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, and insects by scratching and pecking at the ground. Like other Callipepla, it travels in coveys during the nonbreeding season (typically 6-20 birds). While the sexes are similar in size, they are dichromatic. Particularly noticeable is the crest; the males' crest is golden buff and longer than the females' grey crest. There are little data on the natural history or population ecology of the Elegant Quail.  However, its populations do not appear to be in decline. Up to five subspecies of Elegant Quail have been recognized.

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© Andrew Spencer

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Elegant Quail (Callipepla douglasii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/elequa